There’s a new culinary experience happening in Peoria and it’s unlike any other in town and it’s untamed!
The Untamed Chef is Rebecca Hearn and she’s a graduate from the Chicago Culinary Arts School and she says that in addition to her impressive culinary degree she has also honed her cooking skills from tasty travelings around the world, particularly Asia and the Middle East.
There’s several dining options and experiences happening at The Untamed Chef. There’s lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30am to 1:30pm. Every day is a different delicious dish cooked from scratch and you can see the daily lunch calendar by clicking here. Plus there’s cooking classes and the space is also available for private parties.
In addition to all of that, Rebecca also holds special events and one of them that really intrigued me was an event that she’s dubbed, “The Fake Family Dinner”. This is an evening event with dishes served family-style and you can attend alone or with friends and meet new people at this family-styled party. That’s what we’re in for tonight, so let’s make like Archie Bunker and go get all in the family at The Untamed Chef!
Here we are at the Untamed Chef. It’s located at Windsor Square Shopping Center on University Street, right before you hit Pioneer Park. Check out the welcome on the sign, for once I i didn’t have to Photoshop that on there! My friends Amber and Joe drove me over and there they are posing with Becca, The Untamed Chef!
There’s Becca with her two sous chefs for the evening, her husband, Bryce and their daughter, Grace. They’re keeping it all in the family tonight to go along with the family theme of the dinner! Becca said people wear fake name tags at these events and showed me some she’s saved. I chose Asshole, as my fake name, because I’ve been called that my whole life! Amber chose Claire, which she said has been her alias for years. Joe went with Homemade Basil...is that any relation to Toni?
While Becca starts getting things ready, let’s take a look around in here.
It’s a spacious dining room in here and Becca has the tables all set up. We brought some miniature race cars for the drive-in theme and thanks to De from Smiley Graphix for the bottle cap assistance! I’ve heard a rumor they’re launching a new website in July, so stay tuned for that! There’s lots of fun things in here and I love the Untamed Chef wall! That was put together by Party Paparazzi and they did a spectacular job! The owner of Party Paparazzi, Kristie Schmidt is coming to the party tonight and yet another rumor is that her husband is friends with David Wombacher, who’s my cousin! Hi David!
Speaking of guests, here they are, tonight’s fake family! Becca has a list of fake names, so you can feel free to call them anything you want, but luckily we don’t have to call them for dinner. They’re already here! Welcome to the family everyone! Now it’s time to eat. Becca has designed a four-course dinner tonight with the food reflecting fare offered at Peoria’s drive-ins. Her inspiration tonight comes from the menus of Emo’s, Hunt’s, Maid-Rite and Lou’s Drive-in. And so, here we go, it’s Fake Family Dinner Time!
What’s fun about events here at The Untamed Chef is you can watch Becca, Bryce and Grace prepare the food while you mingle with the guests. It’s like watching a live, local version of a show on the Food Network! The first course was chili-dogs and chili-cheese fries. I really think that that was the best chili dog I’ve ever had! The hot dog was plump and juicy and the chili was so tasty! It was rich and savory with just a hint of spicy heat, the chili-cheese fries were also a tasty treat! I could’ve stopped there and been satisfied, but there’s three more courses to come! Oh and these events are BYOB with no corkage fee, so if you want a beer or a mixed drink you can enjoy them throughout the evening.
The second course was loose meat barbecue sandwiches inspired by the Maid-Rite diner. There was a bar with condiments and toppings and I chose some spicy mustard and chopped onions for mine. There was also hand-cut French fries and this was another tasty and satisfying course. All the food was made in small portions tonight which is a good thing because I’m getting full already!
While the third course was being prepared, I decided to stop in at the bathroom, because as they say, you don’t buy beer, you just rent it. I’ve never really understood that saying, so let’s just be blunt here, I had to take a piss. The bathroom turned out to be as much fun as the rest of this unique place! Marilyn Monroe was on the wall as was Michael Jackson, those Fighers of Foo and even Johnny Cash. I love the mirror made of 45 records and this made for one of my favorite obligatory mirror shots of all time! That was a nice break and I was proud of the fact that I didn’t even piss on my shoes, so let’s go back out and re-join the Fake Family Dinner!
The third course was Becca’s take on something that all of Peoria drive-ins have and that is a tenderloin sandwich. By this time I was getting so full I skipped the bun and had a naked tenderloin topped with mustard, barbecue sauce and chopped onions. Like everything else we’ve had tonight, it was out-of-this-world delicious! The pork was marinated and the crunchy breading outside really made these tenderloin unique. It was a bread mixture with cauliflower, Parmesan cheese and other spices. It was so flavorful, I hope she adds these to her lunch menu! Everyone at the table raved about these!
I was seriously thinking about skipping the dessert because I was so stuffed, but I had heard that Becca’s homemade rum cake is unbelievable, so I tried a piece and it was something you need to try before you die! So if you have a terminal disease, get over there this afternoon, take an ambulance if you have to, but you need to sample this fabulous cake!
In the end, there was an empty plate and a full stomach! I was so full, I could just barely squeeze down seven beers when I got home before I passed out...I mean went to sleep! Thanks to Amber and Joe for driving and bringing their patent-pending jug-booze concoction! And special thanks to Becca, Bryce and Grace for a beyond fantastic four course drive-in dinner and thanks to my new family members for showing up, it was ten tons of funs!
7338 N. University Street